Topic: Prebbleton School 125th Anniversay

Topic type:

MARCH 19-21st 1982.

Prebbleton School I25th -Anniversary /Reunion

MARCH 19-21st 1982.


Friday, March 19th
7.00p.m- - Social Get-together at the school, Blakes Road, Prebbleton.

Saturday, March 20th
1.30 p.m. - Opening Ceremony, Roll Call, Photographs, followed by Afternoon Tea at the school.
7.30 p.m. Reunion Dinner

Sunday, March 21st
1 1.00 a.m. - Combined church service at the school, followed by Barbeque Lunch and Family Sports Meeting


Chairman : Mr Leslie Eade
Secretary : Mrs Lois Smith
Treasurer : Mr Len Carpenter
Registration Officer : Mrs Margaret Harrington
Committee members : Mesdames Mollie Carpenter, Leonie. Hill, June Smith and Messr. Noel Gollan, John Carpenter, Basil Manson Harry Manson, and Owen Williams.


The Committee would like to thank:

The Hilton Press, Templeton, for their assistance and co-operation in the production of this booklet; and Mrs Mary Barker who compiled it. Mr Peter Durrant for his work with early photographs and the Canterbury Public Library (NZ room) for their help with press records.

Since our last reunion to celebrate the school's centennial in 1957, many or our old-timers have inevitably passed away. Notable among these would be Mrs Hester (Hetty) Gallagher of Springs Road, Prebbleton, who spent her entire life in Prebbleton and who epitomised the connection between church and school, having been closely connected with the early history of both. (Some of her photographs have been used in this souvenir.) Mrs Gallagher died last year in her 92th year and is buried in the Anglican church graveyard. Yet another old pupil and one time resident, Sir Howard Kippenberger, has also passed away since our last reunion; nor are any officers of the 1957 Centennial Committee still with us. These, and many more, unfortunately too numerous to mention here, gave sterling service to school, community - and country -and we would like here to record our appreciation of their unique contribution and to welcome their descendants to our celebrations. Because this acknowledgement is inevitably incomplete the space below has been left for further names you might like to add to this appreciation.
Name ....................................................................................... Dates
Name ....................................................................................... Dates
Name ....................................................................................... Dates
Name ....................................................................................... Dates
Name ....................................................................................... Dates

Centennial Committee 1957 : Chairman Mr H. G Prebble
Secretary Mrs H. G. Prebble Treasurer Mr W. Hartnell
School Committee 1957. Chairman: Mr W- Shearer, Secretary: Mrs CM. Webb, Committee members: Messrs. A.H. Busch, A. Chesmar, R. Corbett, S.W. Taylor and J.R- Smith.

The school today, bears very little physical resemblance to the school in 1957, and still less to the school at the time of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations in 1933. However we are pleased to have in our midst, and with us in spirit if not always in person, some of the people connected with the school over the past fifty years, as well as of course, more immediate past pupils. And although the name Prebble does not now feature on the school roll we would like to express our indebtedness to the Prebble family and to the early Tosswills as 'founding fathers' of both the school and the community-

Present Staff:

With the transfer at the end of 1981 of Mr Arthur Jennings the school is without a permanent head at the time of the Anniversary. Mr Jennings served nine years as principal during which time his family grew up in Prebbleton and the school saw many changes. Mr and Mrs Jennings are moving to Tai Tapu.

The 1982 staff, under the acting principal, Mr V.M. Barr who has come from Kirkwood Intermediate to replace Mr Jennings is as follows: Miss Anne Beckingsale, Miss Lynley Watts, Miss Judith Wratten, Mr A. Barnett, Mrs Anna Smith.

Headmasters since 1957
1957-59 Mr H.L Gleave (since 1955)
1959-63 Mr B.K. Gainsford
1969-70 Messrs Caley and Forde (relieving)
1963-68 Mr K.E. Hill
1970-71 Mr E. Allison
1972-81 Mr A. Jennings
1982- Mr V.M. Barr (acting head)

Teaching staff since 1957

There have been many changes in teaching staff since 1957; three of the best known and longest serving teachers are Miss Hay, Miss Shaw and Mrs Crow.

Over the years the school has received stalwart service from its school committee, a number of members serving long periods in positions of responsibility. Notable among these would be Mr Alan Busch(nine years as chairman), Mrs Myra Webb (seven years as secretary) followed by Mr Michael Webb (six years) and Mrs Orma Munro (twelve years as secretary).

The School Committee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Present

The present committee

Chairman: Mr F. Sedon; Secretary Mr G. Howat; Treasurer Mr B. Stockdill; Members: Messrs T.G. Williams; I.P. Gold; C. Pennell & Mrs LI. Smith.

Chairmen since 1957

1957-59 W. Shearer (since 1955) 1974-76 P.Reese
1959-68 A.H. Busch 1976-78 J.B. Busch
1969-72 S. Crossen 1978-81 E.T. Smith
1973-74 B.F. Gainsford 1981- F. Sedon

A History of the School:

The first known school was stared by a Mrs Slater with four pupils on the farm formerly occupied by Mr W.T. Bell. Two of these pupils were James and Mary Prebble- This was in 1857.


Within a few years the school had moved into the first Anglican church building, erected about 1859, and opened by Bishop Harper in July 1862. The land had been donated to the church by Mr J.N. Tosswill, who had taken up a farm in the Prebbleton district. "The establishment of the church school proved a great boon to the early settlers. Had it not been for the school, the majority of the children of those days would have had no opportunity whatever of receiving instruction."

This of course was in the days before 'free' education, and "every child who attended was required to pay a fee of one shilling per week." Based on today's values this represents a considerable sum, especially in the case of large families, and reflects the high value placed on education by our Victorian settler families. This close connection between church and school lasted until the establishment of the national system of 'universal' education in 1872.


The church building was later sold and removed to Longbeach where it became the parish church, and a new school was built by the Education Department, consisting of one room, accomoda-ting some thirty pupils. This too was soon outgrown and the school expanded in 1876 into what is now known as the Anglican Parish Hail, in William Street. A public library was also added, connecting with the schoolroom through adjoining doors and these two rooms served as the venue for many of the public gatherings of that time.


About 1923 this old school was condemned by the Board and the school transferred to its new site in Blakes Road, with a new school building which, with its high rafted ceilings and tall paned windows, was familiar to generations of school children - and something of a local landmark - until it too was condemned following a fire in 1975.

A reunion, organised by Mrs N. Gainsford in May 1975 to mark the demolition of the 'new' (1923) classroom block, was well attended by local ex-pupils and friends of the school. Another feature of school life, the annual school prizegiving and public concert in the Prebbleton Hall was discontinued about this time, to be superceded by a more informal 'break-up' for children and their parents. However, 'the school trip' has continued apace (though no longer to the North Island) and Pets and Sports Days are as popular as ever.

Changing times; changing needs

In the past decade the last remaining structures and visible links with the past have gone, to be replaced with a neat concourse of light, modern classrooms, and a well-equipped library room which also houses the Prebbleton Public Library, thus maintaining a link with the past.
These new facilities, along with excellent playing fields and the refurbished Public Swimming Pool have made the school a centre for social as well as educational activities, and along with the modernisation of the Public Hall, have gone a long way in ensuring that Prebbleton keeps pace with the changing demands and lifestyle of today's community.

All these tasks, and the inevitable fund-raising involved, have been accomplished by committees drawn mainly from ex-pupils and parents of present pupils, and an active and hard-working P.T.A. The Parent Teacher Association which grew out of the earlier parents group, has grown in strength and influence and is now an important part of the life of the school and the community. As well as an opportunity to socialise and reminisce, the present celebrations afford a valuable opportunity for all to share in some of the history, and pride in achievement of the school and its pupils, over the past one hundred and twenty five years.

Notable Scholars:

Among former pupils of the school who have achieved prominence in the professions, sport and Armed Services two names continue to stand out. They are Brigadier 'Jim' Burrows and the late Sir Howard Kippenberger. Brigadier J.T. Burrows D.S-O. and Bar, Order of Valour (Greece), former commander of the Southern Military Division, and former Headmaster of Waitaki Boys High School, is also a former All Black (1928), a Canterbury cricket rep and a University Boxing Blue. In 1974 he published Pathway Among Men, a book of memoirs and reminiscence of New Zealanders he has known in war and peace.

The late Major-General Sir Howard Kippenberger, K.B.E, C.B, D.S. O. and Bar was one of New Zealand's most distinguished soldiers, and one of Prebbleton School's most illustrious old boys. He was Editor in chief of the New Zealand War Histories and a prominent Wellington solicitor. Both men attended the centennial celebrations in 1957.

The War Memorial outside the Prebbleton Hall attests to those pupils who made the supreme sacrifice in two world wars.

Today, with the widening range of opportunities for both girls and boys an increasing number of ex-pupils are going on to further education and gaining recognition in the arts, sciences and social services. The Dux was discontinued in 1969, the last pupil to gain this distinction being Fiona Munro.

Anniversary Dinner
Toast List
The Queen and Absent Friends. Mr Les Eade.                                                                                                                                                                                      The School. Brig. J.T. Burrows.
Past and Present Teachers. Mr B. K. Gainford.
The Committees: School and P.T.A. Mrs Orma Munro.
MENU Seafood Cocktail
Chicken & Sliced Ham
with Pineapple, New Potatoes, Peas, Carrots Tossed Salads, Savoury Eggs
Pavlova with Apricot Cream, Fruit Salad, Sherry Trifles
Tea, Coffee

Reunion Cake Iced by Mrs Joyce Odell



Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Prebbleton School 125th Anniversay by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License